tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 18, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
and here on a tourist visa. part of the immigration debate is that you should do it the right way an you need to wait in line. these people who have money aren't waiting in line, are they? >> no, they are not waiting in line. however, they do not violate any law. okay? and again, if you really want to stop it, if u.s. government really want to stop this, you got to make the law. you got to change the law. >> reporter: chow says until that happens, the wealthy will continue to come, give birth, and return home with their precious cargo. thelma gutierrez, cnn, los angeles. >> if your choice did not win or just want to check out runners-up, i'll have link on my facebook page. randi kaye is in for ali velshi. we're starting with hell on earth. strong winds and dry heat fuel hundreds of wildfires in texas while north carolina struggles to move beyond shock and into recovery after a savage outbreak
of tornadoes. i want to go straight to our severe weather expert chad meyers who had's watching both these states. a lot of territory in between. where are we going to see the next area that gets hit? >> it is tomorrow. it's tomorrow night. what's wrong with the word night? it's dark. people don't see the storms. you go to bed. you don't watch the tv all night long. this is the only thing that can save your life. it will wake you up. believe me, the alarm on this will wake you up. you need to program it for your county. old ones went off all the time. by the time your county was affected was out the window. not the same. you program your county. when the alarm goes off for your county, when the tornado warning is in your county, this thing will wake you up. you get downstairs, get into the basement. people have had plenty of washing with these tornadoes. 20 to 30 minutes and people still died, 40 people lost their lives. you do what you can do though it still might not be enough.
back here there are fire warnings in towns today as winds will blow 30, 40, even 50 miles per hour from the northwest. that's a dry wind, relatively humidity like 5%. no help for firefighters at all. >> no relief for texas? >> texas is overwhelmed. they don't have enough people on the ground to fight the fires. >> i read -- i think you had said this as well, just getting back to the storms in north carolina, they had as many tornadoes on saturday as they normally do in a year in north carolina? >> i would say more. every little red dot you see is a tornado report from the last three days. 260 reports so far. not some storms are the same storm. looked at from two different angles. if you say three north of bergen but 17 north of manhattan, that's probably the same storm. just depends on where you look at it. right? so look at the number of tornadoes. at least i would say 50 separate tornadoes. we know of at least eight, some as high as 160 miles per hour. >> boy, did they get hit. all right, chad.
thank you. let's get the latest from north carolina now and cnn's david mattingly. he's in the hardest hit county in the hardest hit state. >> reporter: these are the sights and sounds of a rural north carolina county trying to put the pieces back to the after one of the most severe storms they've ever seen. we're seeing neighbors helping neighborhood. we're seeing chain saws cutting up trees. we're seeing people picking up debris. there's a lot of it to be handled here. take a look at this house right over here. this house was caught directly in the path of this tornado. you see the side is splattered with mud. the roof completely ripped off. that's not the only thing. around here on the side, the windows have been blown out. the siding peeled off and broken. and around in front you see even more damage. trees ripped out of the ground. people saying they've never, ever seen a tornado like this in this part of the country. how to something we rarely get to see is what a house looks like inside after a tornado's
hit. this is what we've got right here. this house in the direct path. you see it was knocked off of its foundation, pushed back more than a foot away from where it used to be standing. walking into the living room here, everything has been ruined. ever bit of furniture soaked by rain, covered with debris, water damage all over the place. fortunately the people who live here were not at home at the time. the husband tells me that his wife became ill. he took her to the emergency room and that's where they were when the storm hit. otherwise, they would have been signature on this couch watching tv and with a much more terrible story to tell today if they had stayed here. i talked to officials who say there's no way they could have prepared for this and blooking at what residents did they say there was very little in some cases that many residents could have done to protect themselves. >> any storm this magnitude's hard to prepare for whether it is a hurricane or a tornado. in both, in the hurricane planning, we do plan for
tornadoes that are spawned out of hurricanes so the preparation has taken place did you a storm of this magnitude being out of a thunderstorm, no. >> reporter: when this storm hit people all over the county found themselves at a terrible disadvantage in prying to protect themselves. that's because they are close to sea level here. almost no one has a base many or a storm shelter. they weren't able to seek refuge underground. they had to ride this storm out in their houses. you can see how well they held up. randi? >> thank you, david. here's how big the wildfire problem is in texas. the state has 252 counties. 252 of them are affected by fire. cnn's ed lavendera is making his way toward graham, texas, just west of ft. worth. i've got him own the phone. ed, what's it like? >> reporter: the fighters here in texas kind of are low-rolling, staying very close to the ground because it is hard to see the flames.
what's unmistakable is the amount of smoke you see in the sky and the haze that all of that creates as weise withese ws continue to blow that across the state awell. there are hundreds of fires blowing and burning across the state on this day. we're near one of the biggest ones that's only 25% contained. that's near just west of the dallas-ft. worth area near oppossum kingdom lake. this fire's been burning for several days, burning more than 50,000 acres so far. firefighters are basically in a defensive mode. we're trying to get to graham, in defensive mode trying to keep the fire from getting to that town. several other towns have already been evacuated. >> what kind of damage, ed, have we seen there so far? >> reporter: well, in this particular fire, there have been about 31 homes that have been destroyed so far but there's about another 500 homes almost that are threatened by this fire as well.
that's why these -- firefighters say it is just too difficult to fight these fires on the front lines at this point given the intensity of the heat and just how quickly these fires are moving and spreading so they're really kind of in that defensive posture trying to protect the homes and other establishments and other buildings that are in perhaps in the way of the fire. a lot of protection going on at this point to try to minimize the damage. >> ed lavendera for us watching wildfires in texas -- thank you. our sound effect today would make a decent novel. a adventure humanitarian writes about his adventures in afghanistan and pakistan, writes about the needs for afghan schools, especially girls schools, raises millions of dollars, sells millions of books and years later is accused of writing lies. in is the book in question -- "three cups of tea," one man's mission to fight terrorism and rebuild nations one school at a time. the author is greg more ttensen.
cnn tracked down one of the alleged kidnappers who runs a pakistani think tank. listen to this. >> greg mortensen says that you kidnapped him. did you? >> no, he's lying. he's lying. we didn't kidnap him. he was our guest. and we treated him as a guest. not someone -- we have not kidnapped him. he used to move around with us to different places in waziristan. he was here -- >> why do you think he said this about you? >> just to sell his book because people in 2005 or '06 wanted to know about waziristan and the taliban so he thought that it's good to make this story.
>> if you saw greg mortensen now, what would you say? >> i just say why do you defame me, my family and my tribe? we treated you well. we house you in our homes. so why the hell you have made all these lies about us? i intend to sue him. because he has defamed me, my family, my tribe. >> mortensen insists he was detained for eight days. in the website for his charity he writes it was against my will my passport and money were taken from she. i was not mistreated or harmed but i was also not allowed to leave. a blanket was put over my head any time i was moved by a vehicle. in an e-mail to supporters, mortensen says the 60 minute story paints a distorted picture using inaccurate information, innuendo and a few points in the book that occurred almost 18 years ago. cnn hasn't been able to reach mortensen directly but his
charity says he is due to undergo heart surgery this week and once he recovers he will comment in person, we're told. top leaders from the faa and a controller's union are beginning a tour of air traffic control towers across the country. their first stop was right here in atlanta today. the tour kicks off after another air traffic controller, the seventh this year, was caught sleeping on the job. the faa suspended an air traffic controller for catching some shut-eye at the miami airport control center. it is the latest in a string of similar occurrences that's raising an alarm over the faa policy in management. the faa's chief will hold a series of meetings about safety and professionalism after announcing a new series of rules to prevent controllers from falling asleep. we have our eye on the dow right now. the united states' ability to tackle its deficit is being called into question. unnerve are already skittish investors. the standard and poor's cut its outlet of debt from stable to negative. u.s. stocks plummeted at the
opening this morning. here's a look at markets right now. not doing so well. in negative territory. the market remains rocky after the s&p, the leading rating agency, said it was concerned about the ballooning u.s. deficit and lawmakers' inability to agree on a plan to reduce it. investors are also on edge about the debt problems in europe and corporate earnings. with everything that's happening in the middle east, we are watching these gas prices like hawks. but exactly how much crude oil do we get from countries in the middle east? well, look at that list. which country do you think is number one? we'll reorganize that list and give you the correct answer right after this quick break. be kind to your eyes with transitions lenses. transitions adapt to changing light so you see your whole day comfortably and conveniently while protecting your eyes from the sun. ask your eyecare professional which transitions lenses
sometimes the greatest luxury of all is doing nothing at all. save up to 65%. call 1-800-sandals. we are all feeling the pain at the gas pump these days. it seems like every day the price of gas goes up. right? well, the founder and ceo of citizens for affordable energy was on state of the union yesterday talking about the possibility of $5 gas in the next couple of years. >> in the short term, like this year, i think we'll see a little bit more upward movement depending upon what happens in the middle east. i'm more worried about next year. if the u.s. doesn't pick up its contribution to that crude oil production, we'll be looking back at $5 in a couple of years. >> so, john hofmeister just mentioned the middle east. you're probably thinking that we get the majority of our crude oil supply from the middle east.
right? well, you would actually be wrong to think that. let me break it down for you. here are the top five countries that we get it from. start at the bottom. number five is actually -- venezuela. number four is -- nigeria. number three is actually saudi arabia. a lot of people would think that would be number one. number two is mexico. and number one -- is canada. so, there you have it. when we talk about gas prices, you always hear about crude oil prices as well. but how exactly do crude oil prices affect the price you pay at the pump? let me break it down for you, too. these figures are all from the energy and information administration. last year's average, 68% of the cost of a gallon of gas went to actually purchase crude oil. 15% went to taxes. 10% to distribution and
marketing. 7% went to refining crude oil into gasoline. that was 2010. now, look at the average for 2000 to 2009. big difference. look how much less we were paying for crude oil. also check out you the refining cost. yeah. there it is. it was more than double what we pay for refining gas now, and look at the taxes. percentage wise we were actually taxed less today on each gallon of gas than in the last decade. and just to give you an idea of how much we've paid for gasoline in the past -- the national average for a gallon of regular gas hit $4.11 in the summer of 2008. today we are only 28 cents away from that all-time high. the u.s. credit score takes a hit. we'll go to the new york stock exchange to discuss what that means for you and your money.
us from the new york stock exchange. how have the markets been reacting? from well, not very well at all, randi. frankly, the one thing that the market that it just can't tolerate is any kind of uncertainty. as you well know we've had just that in washington about all of these budget discussions that haven't really come to any kind of resolution. the markets tanked at the open and have pretty much settled at around a loss of 1.66% across the board, whether the nasdaq, s&p or dow. that lowering of the outlook on the u.s. credit rating to negative is a concern for the marketplace. basically it is a wake-up call to washington to get things in line. the thing that's important to remember is that the u.s. credit rating is as high as it can get. nothing's actually changed but the s&p is certainly looking down the road and worried that congress is not going to be able to fix the budget until 2013 or even during the election. this is what s&p is saying -- account more than two years after the beginning of the crisis, u.s. policymakers have still not agreed on how to reverse recent fiscal deterioration or address longer
term fiscal pressures." in essence, that budget needs to get settled upon and done so sooner than later. if the fiscal outlook doesn't improve, s&p warns that it will cut the government's credit rating. the reason is because next to peer nations, other nations with a triple a credit rating, they aren't having the same kind of concerns. it is not near the issues with the sovereign debt issues like in europe but it is a reality check for the marketplace and certainly for washington and the obama administration. >> if the ramifications of a ratings cut is that big, is it realistic that congress would let things get that far? >> probably not. it's never happened before that we've had a credit rating cut. the u.s. government does maintain this top-notch rating. it means that everything is very low-risk. but if that rating falls it naturally would send ripple effects across the country. bond markets, stock market, the value of the dollar, everything could get hit but it is pretty unlikely that we'd get to that
place. this one day of uncertainty will hopefully just be a blip in the marketplace and will get things sorted sooner than later. >> felicia, thank you. join christine romans each saturday morning at 9:30 eastern and saturdays with ali at 1:00 p.m. eastern and sunday at 3:00. officials are monitoring a nuclear plant in virginia after they lost off-site power. dominion, virginia power says the units are now safe and no radioactive material has been released. parts of the south are in recovery mode today picking up the pieces after a wave of deadly tornadoes. authorities say at least 45 people were killed. almost half of them in north carolina. 11 of the deaths occurred in rural bertie county. in texas, wildfires heavily damaged at least ten homes in austin overnight. one man has been arrested for
accidentally started one of the hundreds of fires across the state. conditions in texas are the driest since 1917. governor rick perry says his state can't handle wildfires on this scale. he's asking washington for help. bumping up against the debt ceiling. president obama is trying to raise the roof. but what does he have to give to get the votes? we'll ask our ed henry next. ah! fiber one honey clusters cereal!
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so president obama wants to talk to you about the deficit. he's going on the road this week for a few town hall meetings talking about the budget battles and the spending plans. cnn's senior white house correspondent ed henry joins us at this time every day. ed, tell us what's the president's big push all about? >> reporter: well, he's trying to make friends first starting out with a facebook town hall meeting in san francisco. but he's also think ahead to 2012. he has to engage voters in some of these key states but also engage the. public on this message he's pushing after last week's big speech about deficit reduction. in addition to two stops in california later this week he'll be in reno, nfevada, a key swin state. he'll do raleigh, north carolina local station. indianapolis. as well as denver, colorado. these again are all swing states that he wants to reach out to the voters in the short term, talk about this deficit
reduction message but in the long term he obviously also has to be thinkinging about 2012. >> sounds like it is a little bit of 50%-50% there. >> yeah, absolutely. look, he has to keep liberals on-board first of all and keep that base energized. there was a lot of frustration on the left that maybe the president was going to give in too much to republicans on spending cuts in some of the earlier budget debates. i think last week's speech here in d.c. at george washington university really seemed to reassure some on the left, organized labor and others that the president's going to stand up for what they believe are some key principles, keep the left happy on some of that but he still has to engage the public. one speech is not going to turn this debate around. they know that. that's why he's going to be hitting the road but also why he's going to be hitting some of these local markets. by the way, if it helps in 2010, great for them as well. >> let's talk about this debt ceiling. does the president have enough support to get the debt ceiling raised, something the president says has to be done but he's
getting push-back and may have to give a bit. >> it looks like he's going to get the votes but with a big caveat. the president has saying he wants a clean vote which means nothing else added, just raise the debt ceiling so the u.s. doesn't default. but republicans have been pushing for it to be coupled with more spending cuts. white house has repeatedly rejected that until essentially this weekend when secretary geithner was on the sunday talk shows acknowledging, yeah, we'll have to give a little bit to the republicans. i think that's again one of the reasons liberals have been so nervous. seems like every time speaker boehner comes in to negotiate something on the budget the president is giving in. but i think it is just political reality. the white house has tried to negotiate out of strength but they realize the votes are just not on the hill unless they have real serious deficit reduction attached in a separate vote that's right after, before,
whatever. but the republicans are pushing for that and i think the white house is finally bending to that political reality. >> ed, i want to ask you about this interesting appointment the president has on his calendar today to hand out a trophy. >> he'll give the commander in chief trophy to the air force. army, navy, everybody always wants it. the commander in chief has to pick sides so it is part of being president. >> that's a good looking trophy. >> the air force is going to be very proud to pick that up. >> i'm sure. ed henry on the stakeout, thank you. hold the concrete. delays could temporarily stop construction at the world trade center. new yorkers are asking, why? up next, we'll tell you exactly what is to blame. what's this option? that's new.
it is time for stories you may have missed. half past the hour. federal emergency management officials are headed to the hardest hit areas of north carolina today as people start picking up pieces from deadly tornadoes. over the weekend, waves of tornadoes hit ten states and left 45 people dead, 22 of them in north carolina. 11 of those dead happened in bertie county. across the region, six people died in virginia, seven in arkansas, seven in alabama. one in mississippi and two in oklahoma. strong winds, unseasonably warm temperatures and low humidity in texas are creating what some forestry officials call a perfect storm for hundreds of wildfires. one 60-acre fire burning near austin community college prompted evacuations. the austin fire department says it was started by a man at a
homeless campsite and a suspect has been arrested. governor rick perry has asked president obama to declare texas a disaster area. perry says conditions this spring are the driest they've been in texas since 1917. more than 1 1/2 million acres have burned this wildfire season. with radiation levels too high for humans, remote controlled robots have been sent in to inexpect japan's nuclear reactors. the robots are being used to determine conditions to help assess a shutdown strategy. tokyo electric says it may take until the end of the year to put the fk fook knukushima nuclear a cold shutdown when the water cooling the reactor stays below the boiling point. meantime, coverings will be put over the reactors. after being featured in this
photograph as a supposed kidnapper, mehsud says images show villagers were neither taliban or kidnappers but instead hosts. here you even see mortensen holding a weapon. theauthor steve kroft also s the book's stories are not -- that would be author john crack cower. he claims mortensen's non-profit misuses funds and fails to carry out the mission to build schools in the region. mortensen denies most allegations made against him. visitors and onlookers are observing construction over ground zero. but there's very little construction actually happening due to concerns about how to finance the construction of the world trade srnt. it has caused delays in construction and if not resolved this could eventually bring to a
>> reporter: when planes come in for a landing the communication shouldn't be like this -- of a pilot trying to get in touch with an air traffic controller. >> they're not answering the phone line either. we're going to need to land. >> land at your own risk. >> it reportedly happened at least seven times across airports across the country since the start of the year because of controllers falling asleep on the job. but now the faa and transportation secretary ray lahood are making immediate changes to the schedules for controllers. >> we will not allow controllers to sleep on the swrob. we simply will not. >> reporter: under the new guidelines controllers will now have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts instead of eight. they'll no longer be able to swap shifts unless they get nine hours off in between. controllers will not be able to work an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off, and there will be more faa manners covering the early morning and late night hours. the problem of fatigue has been
around for years. back in 2007, the national transportation safety board recommended the schedules of air traffic controllers be revised to address the issue which begs the question why wasn't more done sooner? >> i was the secretary in 2007. i'm secretary today. as soon as i heard, they were suspended. >> reporter: a key lawmaker says the issue is not the number of controllers employed but how they're used. >> air traffic controllers make on average $163,000. they're professionals. but even the best professional need some recurrent training. with changes in technology and procedures and we think it is important that we revisit that. >> what do you say to the flying public? should they have confidence in this system? >> absolutely. i believe that the airline
industry in america is the safest in the world. but we can do better. and we will do better. >> faa officials and air traffic controllers union are starting a nationwide tour in atlanta to talk to controllers to hear their concerns, but to also hammer home the issue of safety. sandra endo, cnn, washington. a short time ago transportation secretary ray lahood met with controllers at a regional radar facility just outside atlanta talking to them about those new rules. part after nationwide tour by lahood and the head of the faa to personalcy deliver their safety message. earlier suzanne malveaux asked secretary lahood about the added hour of rest. >> how much of a difference do we think this is really going to make? >> well, we got that recommendation really from a fatigue study that we just are releasing and that study says that pilots should actually have nine hours. and we thought that controllers should, too. but look. if that's not enough hours, and
that's really one of the reasons that the administrator and the president of the controllers union are traveling the country starting in your bailiwick today, in atlanta, talking to controllers about workplace rules, about more rest. and if it needs to be more obviously we'll take that into conversation. we think nine hours is probably the right amount of rest. but if it's not, we'll do better. >> we'll have much more on lahood's visit and the new rules for controllers at the top of the hour with cnn homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. that's coming up. why is it against the law in india to determine the sex of your baby before it's born? i'll explain next. it has to do with one of the most shocking trends not in india but all of south asia. stick around to hear this. two indulgently rich layers of chocolate and raspberry yogurt... and only 100 calories.
today on globe tracking, let me start like what looked like some simple demographic statistics from india. in 2001, 1000 boys to every 927 girls born. by the time the census was taken, it was even lower. but these tell a much more insidious story, the story of india's missing women, girls who are never born because women there are pressured into having an abortion if it is discovered they found out they're going to have a baby girl. the practice is so prevalent that tests to determine the sex of an unborn child is illegal in
india but hardly ever actually enforced. as part of cnn's year-long freedom project, let's try explain why this has been happening for years. sara side meidneide side sara sw much is this tied to women as a whole in india? >> whether you talk about being pressured into having an abortion if it is discovered that you are having a girl, the pressure isn't just coming from men, per se. the pressure is a social pressure that's also coming from women and the way that girls are considered. really what this is about when you get to the bottom of it is a socioeconomic issue. because girls are considered more expensive, because oftentimes families are still paying a dowry, even though the government has outlawed dowries which is when a woman gets
married she's expected to give certain kinds of gifts to the boy's family, to the groom's family, and those gifts can range from anything from a house to a car to gold jewelry, and that's kind of an expected exchange that happened. it is very much a business proposition as much as it is anything else. and the girls are the ones that have that burden often. even though it's been outlawed, families are still expected to do it. the middle class, upper class, they're still doing it. they're just not calling it dowries. so girls number one are thought of as more expensive. but the other thing that's happening here, is when a woman gets married she moves out of her family's house. in india there is no, for example, social security. so as people get older, boys are thought of as a bit of a l retireme retirement, an investment. a boy stays in the home, brings his wife into the home and thereby takes care of the family, the mother, the father, they often live in joint families with the mother and father and sometimes grandparents so that person is expected, the son to take care
of the family. without that there is really no safety net. we are looking at a real issue here with socioeconomics but also there is a social issue here with women and how women are looked at in india as a whole. >> i just from reading more about it, you hear about these women who have had to have multiple abortions and now the family is pushing them to get pregnant again to see if maybe they might have a son this time, have you so ask what is being done about this, if anything. because the law is the law, yet it is not really being followed. >> that is one of the issues that happens in many things in india. laws are in place -- there are thousands of very specific laws that just aren't enforced. this is also a very difficult thing to enforce because you cannot necessarily change people's beliefs just because a law is in place. we should also talk about what's happening in india now. it is a developing country. it is developing quite quickly and you are seeing some people's
salaries rise. instead of people getting more education about women and about abortions, what's happening is they now have the money to pay for abortions. so you are seeing this gap actually widen when most people thought when people got more money, were able to be more educated, that it would get smaller and it isn't. so it is something that a lot of people are very concerned about, randi. >> sara seidner, thank you so much for your insight on that. hopefully things will change for those women there. for more much, go to cnn.com/freedom. from our planet, to oceans, to outer space. the big solutions toing big problems. ali velshi, you attended this x-prize brainstorm session this
weekend. >> i had to travel half-way across the country just to get back on this show, randi. >> we miss you! >> i'm so glad this show is in good hands. the x-prize is something i've been involved in for some time. many of you will remember the old x-prize that came out, the ensari x-prize to get a spaceship into space, a prize of $10 million for the first team that could do it. it takes way more to get a spaceship into space but it almost created the industry of spaceflight now allowing nasa to do other things like commercial space travel will take over shuttling people to and from the international space station. let me bring in francis, help me explain to our viewers why this process of creating a prize, monetary incentive, is so important and how it works. walk us through the simple
version of what you walked us through this weekend. >> simply saying, there's a lot of grand challenges we are facing today, and most of them have a multitude of failures. and the price allows human nature, the competitive aspect of human nature to do its best work, come together and solve a problem. the x-prize foundation we ask questions an we let the people answer the questions for us. so allow human nature to solve the grand challenges that we are facing today is what we're all about. >> give me an example, frances, of one of the questions. i had to ship back here becausely to be on tv this morning so i didn't get to see that final session. give me an example of a question that you allowed the group to come up with, then develop a prize which you are now going to move forward and try an create an x-prize out of an solve a problem that humanity is facinging. >> all right, i'll give you an example. i remember you and i were working on ocean issues. this comes out of a water
session. as you know the lack of drinking water is the number one killer today. and imagine, imagine if tomorrow you're able to give at the the home scale level drinking water for an entire family. now you will change the life of millions, hundreds of millions of people, these are the kind of solutions, these are the kind of break-throughs we're talking about. another one that's even more exciting that came up as one of the top ideas over the weekend -- imagine an onstar system for the body. you and i have cars, we have little red light check engine light. imagine if we had one for our body to prevent and to be reactive to health event that happens in our day to day life. another break-through that came together this weekend at the x-prize foundation visionary meeting. >> we were just looking at james cameron. he's obviously passionate about oceans. bottom line here, you will take these ideas, then offer them out as a prize and you hope that teams then put opinion into competing to win that prize.
often the prize money is less than a single team will invest in trying to find the solution but the effect is you have a multiple of the prize money dedicated to try to find a solution that's going to help humanity. >> absolutely. if you look at a $10 million purse, normally the leverage is immense. the amount of money that the team spent to solve that money team spent to solve that problem and win the purse is ten times bigger than the purse, itself, and we have seen 200 times the size of the purse. >> all right. francis, good work and thank you for joining us today. x-prize is a great idea and the best part of it, randi, a party on saturday night, and will.i.am was spinning the tunes and the deejay for the night, and that was a payoff for a weekend of intellectual endorphins. >> and you know how i knew that, ali? i follow you on twitter, and i know your every move. >> i was tweeting as he was doing that. >> i know you were. >> randi, i miss you and the team and don't know why we are never in the same city. >> i know, but it is nice to
have you on between noon and 3:00. all right. see you soon. and for more info on the x prize foundation go to cnn.com/ali. one possible gop candidate unsure about the rivals and not ready to commit to the first debate. your cnn political debate is up next. twice a year, every year you don't have an accident. the safe driving bonus check. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
time now for cnn political update, and stocks are taking a tumble today on news of a negative outlook on the debt future which highlights the high stakes in the budget battle. cnn congressional correspondent brianna keilar joins me from washington with more on this. hi there, brianna. >> hey, there, randi. we are looking at the congressional reaction to the news you are talking about with s&p saying that the credit rating has been downgraded from stable to poor. and this is the next big spending battle we will see in congress which is whether to increase the debt creeling the amount of money that the u.s. can legally borrow. we heard from number two house republican eric cantor who says it is a wake-up call, and backs up things that the republicans want to do which to add conditions to the raising of the
debt ceiling and something that the obama administration does not want to see. and talk about 2012, michele bachmann, 2012 potential candidate for presidential nomination is in south carolina, and if you are wondering if she is ready to be on the hot seat for a debate, peter hamby asked her about that and she was noncommittal and she said, that she has not announced that she would run for president,s and there is a lot of possibilities of republican possibilities who have committed, but she has not. and the enemy of ipad was jesse miller who was on the house slamming it. he said that after buying an ipod it occurred to him that it is killing jobs and you have stores like borders and other bookstores that are out of business b business, because you can
download your books, and he is not a fan, but he did buy one for himself. >> well, he is anti-ipad. all right. brianna, thank you very much. anti-scientific, unnecessary, unconstitutional -- that is just some of to description of the science education bills being proposed in this country, but some people say that the anti evolution bills are necessary. we will look at the battleground states when we come back. [ male announcer ] ten people are going to win the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button
we want to take you straight to maryland, and these are pictures coming in at wusa where montgomery rescue working a river rescue, and you can see the water rushing near violets lock road and there is apparently a woman that you can see there in the video hanging from that tree in the canal near this violet's lock road and the woman was a kayaker and lost control of the boat and grabbed a hold of the tree, and we're not sure how long she has been there or who is in the area to help, but we know they are on the scene and the county fire and rescue, and they say that the woman may be caught, and she may have with her skirt caught under the water on the tree, and we are continuing to watch this, this woman clinging to a tree for dear life in montgomery county, maryland. officials say she was kayaking and apparently lost control of the boat.
there are several rescues in that section of the potomac as high waters created dangerous conditions there. we will continue to watch this woman hopefully toe able to bring her rescue to you as well as soon as they can reach her. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com sleeping on the job can get you fired pretty much anywhere i can think of, and depending on the job, it can get other people killed. case in point, this job, air traffic control. zen times so far this year -- yes, seven times this year controllers have fallen asleep when they should have been guiding planes in takeoffs and landings. no official action has been taken, but the head of the air controllers has resigned. and the faa has tightened contr controls. now they have to have nine hours between shifts instead of eight.
they cannot schedule an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off. on saturday the faa suspended a controller who dosed on duty, and then after that there were reports of washington, d.c., and knoxville, and seattle and reno and twice in lubbock, texas. to drive the message home, the head of the faa and the head of the air traffic controllers union launched a cross country tour starting here in peach city, atlanta, of course, and jeanne meserve is there for us who joins us for two at the top jeanne, what happened there? >> well, this is the most unusual tour i have been on which is to see the head of the faa heading up with the head of a union, but both of these men have a stake in seeing some sort of solutions found to this problem of controllers falling asleep on the job, and the
latest this past weekend in miami. they met here at this facility with a group of controllers to hear their concerns and issue a few messages. part of it was cheerleading saying that 99.9% of the time you guys are professional and do a great job, but any mistake is important, and that is something else they talked about. they said scolding in part, we have to do better. here is part of the administrator babbitt's remarks to the controller controller. >> just because 99.9% of us are doing it right, we have to have all of us doing it right. this is one business where one mistake is one too many. >> reporter: they have made changing in the scheduling and maybe more in the offing as they continue this investigation. commissioner babbitt said it would cost $2.9 million a year to institute the changes they have already talked about. they do say that they want to be fiscally responsible, but there
is no price tag that you can put on safety in this situation. in addition, he told us that one of the controllers involved in one of the situation, the one in knoxville where the controller appeared to have willfully fallen asleep has now been fired. randi, back to you. >> thank you, jeanne. we want to get back to the breaking news and live pictures of this woman who has been hanging from a tree in the canal near violets lock road in maryland. we had said that montgomery fire and rescue were on the scene a moment ago when we showed you this video for the first time, and now, you can see, there they are getting right to her. apparently, she is a kayaker who lost control of her boat, and ended up grabbing hold of a tree, and we are not clear how long she has been holding on to that tree, but you can see there's fire and rescue in their boat with three people trying to pull her off of that tree, but apparently the woman was caught in her kayak which is under the water, and there they are as they try to pull her. and you can look at how rough
that water looks and how quickly the current is moving. you certainly don't want to lose her from getting from the tree to the boat. so there are two of the fire and rescue crew, and there's three in the boat, and two trying to pull her, and she is free from the tree. these pictures are coming to us from wusa. it is all happening in dickerson, maryland. and there she is! they got her in the boat, and that is wonderful to see. so here was this woman trapped, clinging to a tree in dickerson, maryland, and had had a problem with her kayak and stuck to the tree clinging for dear life and now she is safe and sound on the rescue boat, and much thanks to the montgomery fire and rescue team. we are glad to bring that to you and have a happy ending as well. moving on, the sound effect would make a decent novel, and adventurer turned humanitarian writes about his travels in afghanistan and pakistan. he writes about the need of
schools for particularly female afghan females. and now later accused of lies. this is the book "three cups of tea" and the author is greg mortenson who is defending his work against a "60 minutes" investigation that claims he made up the tale of being kidnapped by the taliban in 1996. well, cnn tracked down one of the alleged kidnappers who runs a pakistani think-tank, and listen to this. >> reporter: greg mortenson says that you kidnapped him. is that true? >> he is lying. we did not kidnap him. he was our guest and we treated him as a guest. not someone -- we have not kidnapped him. he used to move around with us to different places and he was even a guest at a football
tournament. >> reporter: why do you think that he said this about you? >> just to sell his book, because people in 2005 or 2006 all they wanted to know was the pakistan and the taliban and he thought it was good to make this story. >> reporter: if you saw greg mortenson now, what would you say to him? >> why would you defame me and my family and my tribe? we treated you well. we housed you in our homes. so, why the hell you make up all of these lies about us? i intend to sue him. because he has defamed me, my family, my tribe. >> mortenson insists he was detained for eight days. in a statement of the website of his charity he writes, quote, it was against my will and my passport and money was taken from me and i was not mistreated or harmed, but i was also not allowed to leave. a blanket was put over my head
any time i was moved by vehicle. and according to "60 minutes", paints a distorted picture using inaccurate information, en you wen doeshgs and a few points in the book that occurred almost 18 years ago. the charity says that he is due to undergo heart surgery this week, and once he is recovered, he will comment in person. and it has been a rough day on the dow for investors. stocks plummeted after the standard and poore cut the outlook of the debt from stable to negative. here is where the dow stands right now, negative territory, 186. and the leading rating agency says it is concerned about the ballooning deficit, and the unableness of the politicians to create a plan to decrease it.
and exactly how much crude oil do we get from countries in the middle east? look at the list. which country do you think is number one? we will reorganize the list and give you the correct answer. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp... medicare supplement insurance card, too. medicare is one of the great things about turning 65, but it doesn't cover everything. in fact, it only pays up to 80% of your part b expenses. if you're already on or eligible for medicare, call now to find out how an aarp... medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company, helps cover some of the medical expenses... not paid by medicare part b. that can save you from paying up to thousands of dollars... out of your own pocket.
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was on "state of the union" yesterday talk tact possibility of $5 gas in the next couple of years. >> in the short term, like this year, i think that we will see a little bit more upward movement depending upon what happens in the middle east. i'm more worried about next year. if p t if if the u.s. does not pick up the contribution of the oil contribution contribution, we will be looking at $5 a gallon next year. >> and you think that we get most of the crude from the middle east, and you would be wrong if you think that, too. here are the top five countries where we get it. number five is venezuela. number four, nigeria. hope you are playing along at home. and number three is what people think would be number one, saudi arabia. number two, mexico. and coming in at number one is actually canada.
so, let us know how you did at home. so when we talk about the gas prices, well, you always hear about crude oil prices, but how exactly do crude oil prices affect the price that you pay at the pump? let me break this down for you as well. these figures are all from the energy administration. and let's look at last year's average, 68% of the cost of a gallon of gas went to purchase crude oil. okay. 15% to taxes. 10% to marketing and distribution. and 7% to refining the crude oil into gasoline, so that was 2010. now, look at the average for 2009. look at how much less we were paying for crude oil. 51% compared to 68%. also, check out the refining cost, because it was more than double of what we cost for refining gas from 15% and now we pay 7%. check out the taxes, and percentage wise, we are taxed less today on each gallon of gas than in the last decade and to
give you an idea of how much we have paid for gasoline in the past, the national average for a gal ln of regular gas hit $4.11 in the summer of 2008 and today, we are 28 cents away from the all-time high. coming up, imagine acres of farmland in the middle of a city, and skyscrapers and traffic jams and all. >> this is the future of farming, because it's completely different than conventional farming in the sense that we divorce growing a crop from the land. a new kind of farm that may help you eat just a little bit greener next. part of my job is teaching my patients how to take insulin.
but i've learned a lot from patients who use flexpen. flexpen comes pre-filled with the insulin i take and i can dial the exact dose of insulin i need. i live my life on the go and need an on-the-go insulin. i don't need to carry a cooler with flexpen. novolog is a fast-acting, man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults and children with diabetes. do not inject novolog if you do not plan to eat within 5 to 10 minutes after injection to avoid low blood sugar. tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions, including if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. the most common side effect of novolog is low blood sugar. other possible side effects include reactions at the injection site. get medical help right away if you experience serious allergic reactions, body rash, trouble with breathing, fast heartbeat or sweating. ask your healthcare provider about novolog flexpen today. learn more about the different insulins available in flexpen
a we approach earth day this week, we are focusing on the greener solutions of the food we eat, how it is grown and where it comes from. it is part of the new series "green solutions in focus." today the equation for produce is relatively simple, the closer it is to the place you eat it, the fresher it is. and as the population grows, we need more food, but farmland in
the u.s. is shrinking and a lot of what we eat is imported from other countries and it takes days to get to the grocery store from the farm to the table, but one company has invented a farm that condenses acre's worth of food, and greg killday, shows us how. >> reporter: this is the future of farming, because this is how we divorce growing a crop from the land. i'm matt, the founder of pod upon ponics and we grow right in your neighborhood. as the population increases, we need greater and greater food sources and we are doing worse and worse things to the land to do that. by doing this, we can take land that is readily available in urban areas and traditionally not useful for farming, and we can make use of that. so these are shipping containers that were previously used for
importing/exports goods in the united states, and what we do is to recycle them into an optimal growing environment for a particular fresh produce crop. we plant seeds in little inert growing medium, and the seed then is irrigated on a regular e basis. when you look at the energy that is used to grow a crop, you have to look at all of the energy from getting from seed ultimately to the end product in the consumer's hand. so when you look at the annual yield that one of these containers produces, which takes up 320 square feet, we produce about the equivalent of an acre and a half of conventional farm. distributor comes three times a week to pick up our products. the vast majority of the product goes to restaurants here in the atlanta area. >> we probably use 10 and 15 pounds of lettuce a week here at the restaurant.
there is a lot of local farmers, but something this magnitude being so close in the urban setting is very unusual, and i think that it is probably going to the be trend setting. 18 minutes past the hour and time for top stories. minutes ago in montgomery county, maryland, emergency workers rescued a woman desperately clinging to a tree in vie lots lock road. you saw the rescue here on cnn. the woman was a kayaker who lost control of her boat and grabbed a hold of the tree. no word yet the woman's condition. and the top leaders of an faa controller union and director are here to talk about new safety rules. the tour kicks off at another air traffic controller, is the seventh this year if you are counting, was caught sleeping on the job. and dozens of teams are headed to the southeast to start the cleanup of a powerful system
that unleashed deadly tornados across the region. at least 45 people were killed in six states. north carolina was the hardest hit state with 22 deaths. in texas, dozens of large fires are burning out of control today, especially in west texas, in the panhandle. firefighters say that the high winds and dry conditions have created a perfect storm for wildfires. authorities have arrested one man for accidentally starting one of the fires. in the meantime, texas governor rick perry is asking the president to declare texas a disaster area. as we mentioned earth day is friday, but actor matt damon works everyday to provide clean water to people around the world. in the impact your world, we travel with him to see firsthand the struggle for drinking water in ethiopia and his group's efforts. >> we are just outside of ethiop ethiopia. this is a hand-dug well where
the people come to gather their water. the bottles full of that dirty water is what they come to fetch to take to school. >> it is a matter of life and death. >> it is a matter of life and death and it is in people's nature to want to help. >> cnn.com/impact. >> cnn is asking you to pledge 11 volunteer hours on 2011 and go on cnn.com/impact or text impact and then add the number 11 to 22360 to make your pledge and when you complete your hour, go back to the web page to submit your story and pictures and your story could be featured. strong winds an unseasonably high temperatures are creating in texas what some forest ry officials call the perfect storm.
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conditions in texas are the driest sin driest that they have ever been. any relief, chad meyers? >> well, no. this is part of the southwest, and threat of fire is very high through oklahoma and lub bbock d all of the areas in here. this is from my old education unl, and if you want to believe this or not, this is the drought monitor for texas from noaa and 100%, and that number, 100 -- 100% of texas is under some type of drought. the entire state. okay. then you get to the bigger numbers, the d-4s which are these areas here across southwest texas and southeastern texas. and everything is dead. literally, nothing can grow when it is that dry, and here is where most of the fires are
occurring, and in fact, today, because of the way that the wind is coming in, and i will clear that out for you, and the fires are going this way. we know that, because they are again showing up on radar. you think, wait, radar picks up rain, right? no, radar picks up what is in the air. it can pick up a bug. >> it picks up fires? >> picks up the smoke from the fires. there are so many fires out there and the fire lines are so wide now, and you have to understand if it is a one-mile fire of 648 acres and you have one mile this way and that way and that way and this is a four-mile firefighting one four miles around it, but all of the sudden, now this thing is some of the fires are 100 miles square. how do you fight that? >> ritght, and the wind could b changing the direction and the fire's direction as well. >> that is exactly what is happening. every time a warm front or cold front goes by, the winds changes direction and ulgly for the firefighters, because it gets them in the way. you think, i got it, and the wind is going this way and we
are in this ditch and we have a great fire line and great. nope, the wind changes, and it is back on the firefighters, so they watch the weather forecasts and the wind forecasts critically. high danger today and tomorrow and no end in sight, and eventually towns get in the way. that is what has to happen. people have to be evacuated when it gets too close. >> i think about these guys try to fight the fire in the heavy gear and heat as well blasting towards them. >> it is a little bit crazy, because i used to work in oklahoma city, and there were wildfires all of the time, and when people would get close to the house, they would get out there with the coats and the blankets to beat the ground to death and try to beat the fires up, because there was no water, because you are too far away from the hose. it is a crazy situation when the wind blows like that and dangerous and difficult to inhale all of the smoke, even when you drive through it, all of the sudden, you have to stop before you get into the smoeshgs because you don't know if the car in front of you stopped or
because of the smoke. >> and we have more lingo with all of these tornadoes. >> yes, 90 to 0 tornadoes have confirmed, and we have another chance of tornados tonight and tomorrow night. >> in the same areas? >> a little farther to the north, and tomorrow, this is the one i will worry about because tomorrow evening after dark, in st. louis, and louisville, and southern indiana, that is an after-dark tornado situation that could be an outbreak which means dozens of tornadoes burk when they are in the dark, you are asleep. they are not reported as well, and not as many chasers want to be out there in the dark, and if you aare asleep, who is going t wake you up? a dog, maybe? but a noaa radio for sure. you have to buy one. >> or get in the bathtub? >> the lowest level. but three people died being in a bathtub in the mobile home, and
now, a look at news that you may have missed. the dow dipped more than 200 points soon after the opening bell today. after standard & poor's downgraded the u.s. credit outlook from stable to negative to morning. and the issue is fighting in washington over u.s. reduction plans. the news caused gold to spike to almost $1,500 an ounce. top leaders from the faa and the controllers union are beginning to tour air traffic control towers across the country. the first stop was atlanta today
after seven incidents of controllers caught sleeping on the job. this is in an effort to combat controller fatigue. and the air force academy team went to the white house to win the commander in chief's throw fi. they beat both the army and the navy in football last year. >> so this is a group that has a lot to be proud of, but obviously the most impressive thing about these young men and the thing that sets them apart is that being a football player isn't what defines them. they are airmen first. and more important than any bowl game or trophy is the commitment that they have made to serve this country. an epic novel now being c l called a pack of laws. monsieur massoud says that these
were not taliban, but a hoax. here you can see the author holding a weapon. the author john krakow says the allegations are not true, and mortenson says they are, and he is defending his allegations. and now one match.com is starting background checks, and they warn members against a false sense of security and say to be cautious when meeting anyone online. they are now known as inmates 23 and 24, but we knew them as two of the most powerful people in egypt's mubarak regime. i will reveal who they are and how they got there next on "globe trekking."
we have been talking about the wildfires spreading throughout texas and we have ed lavandara on the phone was, and he is on the road in texas watching the wildfires. ed, what can you tell us? is bring us up to date. >> well, randi, we made our way through with the deputy from the youngs county sheriff's department west of ft. worth and we are on the front lines watching some of the strike teams near the town of grand, texas, battle the fires where are the wildfires are five or six miles away from graham, and the firefighters are doing their best to make sure that the fires
don't get closer. the concern is the winds and whether or not they will pick up later on this afternoon and put the town in more danger. as of now, there is no plans to evacuate the town of graham, but if the winds pick up and change direction, it can complicate things here this afternoon, and there are a number of strike teams working on the ground and with aerial teams to fight the fire on the ground, but it is an extremely treacherous area here in texas, and the resources here to battle the flames in texas have been exhausted and quite tired. the crews that we are watching right here, and a couple of the volunteer firefighters are walking around me to spray a couple of the hot spots that we are seeing here in the fields outside of graham, texas, randi. >> that picture of those fires is something. all right. ed lavandara watching it for us, and we appreciate the update. now, "groeb trekkilobe treke
will find out who are the newest inmates? well, they are the sons of hosni mubarak. and how did they end up there? michael holmes is here to talk about sh, tora farms is nothin to do withing ing agriculture, is a prison. it is home to 600 inmates there, and hosni mubarak, the former president, his kids are in there, gamal and allah, and they are accused of all kinds of things. impropriety financial, and ordering security forces to fire on protesters so facing a couple of serious charges. they are not the only ones, but
this is a prison that was set up for those deemed to be the enemies of the state, and now it is the powerful inside and not just the two mubaraks, but the president's closest con ti dant, and the former prime minister is in there and the former speaker of the house, and the guards, i was talking to ivan watson earlier, and they are well behaved and the guards are glad they are there. >> they share a cell? >> yes, and gamal is depressed about it. they get meals brought in, and one other inmate there, a former politician who famously arranged to have the lebanese pop-star girlfriend murdered in dubai gets his meals from the four seasons, so the food is okay when it is brought in, but it is a jail, and apparently not a fancy place. >> are they eating? >> apparently, gamal is not. he is off of the food they say. he is not doing well inside. he is facing serious charges, too. hosni mubarak, of course, is in
the hospital being treated -- >> so he could end up there? >> yes, he certainly could end up there and if his health is better, he could end up there. >> and people say, why didn't they leave when they had the chance? >> nobody knows for sure, but my gut feeling is power. these people did not think they would be overthrown. they never thought it would come to this. they thought they had been there for 30 years and so powerful, and they ran the place with an iron fist and it happened in two to three weeks and all ended. i think they thought they would be able to tough it out. >> well, i'm interested to sigh where this goes. let's move on the syria. p protesters fired upon by the country's security forces? >> yes, serious clashes and the eight people were reportedly killed in clashes between the security forces and anti-government protesters. this was concentrated in the city of hahm, and this is where it was which is 100 miles north
of damascus, and triggered in that case by the announcement of the death of a well respected elder in police custody. you know, it goes on and on and spreads more everyday and we talk about it. it is still not in the capital where the protesters wanted to be. they promised to end the emergency rule in the next day or two, but the protesters wonder what is going to replace it? >> haven't we heard that before? >> yes, we have. >> i wanted to have it on the record. >> and the pllaw that has been place for decades and being replaced with an antiterrorism law, and the cynics in syria say it is more of a new name for a same sort of restrictions. >> and yet the government is still holding on? >> absolutely. they are holding on, and they, again, don't think that anything is going to happen to them. they are clinging to it with their life, but they have announced a raft of reforms, and are hoping that will win people over, but it is not working at
the moment. this is not on par of what we saw in egypt, and obviously in libya and places like that, but it is fermenting along and it is not going away. >> what is the best outcome if you can tell us the about the u.s. in this situation? >> well, the u.s., you can arpg you that the u.s. doesn'tb have a dog in the fight, but they do in a way, because they were trying to bring musharraf into the fold, and away from the anti-iran stance because they are friends. so they felt that they were having a nibble of that before all of this started, and now all bets are off. who knows. we have talked about this before, and the problem with syria is the regional implications, and hezbollah is based there and hamas is based there and lebanon, of course, is huge heb blzbollah influence th and you todon't want it to spre to the border near lebanon where
it can go off in a moment. >> and you might want to think about high tailing it out of there? >> well, they are watching it with interest, but at the moment they believe they can be holding on. thank you, michael holmes. who is paying the most taxes you ask, and who pays the least and who pays none at all? building up our wireless network all across america. we're adding new cell sites... increasing network capacity... and making a substantial investment to improve your wireless network experience. from a single phone call to the most advanced data download, we're covering more people in more places than ever before in an effort to give you the best network possible. at&t. rethink possible. shorts! tanktops! [ female announcer ] grab a box of multigrain cheerios. get a code to... ...a 7 day plan to get going on your summer weight loss.
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if you still haven't filed your 2010 tax returns, what are you doing watching tv? get back to work after you watch this tax day edition of the breakdown. we are looking on the brightside of the 96 million returns that the irs has already processed 81 million have put money back into the taxpayers' pockets, and check out the 83 million e. filers and the most ever. 83 million. and how much is the treasury giving back in $234 billion and almost $2900 per taxpayer. we know that the richest pay 59% of the taxes, but 45% paying no federal taxes at all. how does that break down? almost all of those who don't owe make less than $50,000 or less a year and almost all are in the high figures and there you have it, one percent of the
filers who make $1 million a year pay no federal taxes which is not to say they are off of the hook entire i l becauly, bee is payroll tax and sales tax and other taxes -- you get the idea. and an expose on sarah palin, and this got my attention. shann shannon, what are we talking about here? >> well, randi, just when you thought you had everything that you wanted or needed to know about the former alaskan governor, there is a book coming out on the 24th that is said to be a chilling expose that is written by a former aide to palin who worked for her for a number of years from 2006 until the former governor of, until palin resigned the governorship of alaska, and simon and schuster, the publishing house says it is an explosive close-up view of palin, and certainly, that will be catching a lot of people's attention.
moving on to donald trump. he is being called quote just another liberal. that is coming from the conservative anti-tax group club for growth. they say that some of trump's past positions, and some of the things that he supported in the past makes him a liberal. listen to the quote of a representative of the club for growth, quote, donald trump has advocated for massive tax increases that display a stunning lack of knowledge of how to create jobs. now, of course, donald trump has not declared a presidency, and presidential bid and he says she considering it, and he says that he is very conservative, and as conservative as a lot of the other potential contenders. one last thing, michelle obama, the first lady and jill biden, the wife of the vice president joe biden are teaming up. they were on the "the view" this morning, and you are seeing them, interviewed by the ladies of the "view" to raise awareness of support of military families and talk about many americans can go out to support these
families and the service members are off at war and the families are struggling back at home, but one thing that caught my attention is that it was very chatty on the couch there with the lady of the "view" and mrs. obama talked about the president and how he is handling the eldest daughter malia's daughter to transition into the teenager and she talked about a funny moment where malia was ready to go out and dressed up and pretty and in a nice pretty dress, and the president kind of had to choke up a little bit. >> oh. well, his little baby is groi g i ing up. and he has to deal with her growing up at some point, like he doesn't have enough to worry about. >> right. >> and thank you, shannon. the best political team on television is one hour away. the federal government clamping down to knock online poker offline, and should they step back and find a way to make money off of the popular pastime? our stream team tackles that question next. [ jelani ] neither of my parents went to college.
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all of them were part of a federal government crackdown, and indictments on fraud and illegal gambling were unsealed late last week. this is big money we are talking about and a website that tracks the online game says that u.s. players wagered around $16 billion on these sites last year, and top players can earn upwards to $1 million a year in online cash games and tournaments, so should internet poker be legal in the u.s. and maybe even taxed? let's bring in the stream team now. cnn legal analyst jeffrey tube bin and barrett duke, and vince van patton and tv host of the world popular world poker tour. okay. guys, let's start with the obvious here before we get into the nuts and bolts and the same argument that some are making over new jersey, legalize it and tax the industry. vince, start with you, what is t harm here? >> well, to me there is a difference, because leaggallega
marijuana is difficult, because you could get high and get in your car and harm someone else. but for online poker, it is in your home and no harm to anyone else. >> well, that is one of the problems, it is done in the privacy of your own home and people's lives are being destroyed by the thousands in this country because of gambling, and the last thing we need is for that to be streamed into their homes 24/7, and it is just a bad policy to have that, and i think that the federal government has made the right decision on this. >> jeffrey, what is the legal problem with online poker? can't the government make money off of the sites? >> well, the broad problem at the moment is that online poker isillegal, but most of the operations were abroad either in ireland or somewhere else, and the way that this investigation went forward is that even though
the businesses are offshore, the financial mechanisms, the bank that got the money from the players to the poker operators, that's what the federal government cracked down on. there were sort of a gray area now where the government tolerated the existence of these offshore poker operation, but clearly, that period is over. we know it is illegal and now the country has to decide whether to legalize it and tax it or continue these criminal investigations. >> abarrett, poker players say t is not gambling, it is a game of skills, and it is not gambling. what is your response to that? >> well, certainly, it takes more skill to play poker than it does for instance to bet on a roulette wheel, but still, when you come down to it, you need luck to get the right cards, just because you want an ace does not mean you will get an ace. so there is some skill involved and still a game of chance.
>> vince, you see a lot of the online players in your tournaments. what do you think that the impact is going to be on the game and the popularity of your tv shows and also can't the government add their own rake to make some money off of the sites? >> well, of course, you will have billions of players out there saying what just happened? okay. where is my poker game? they are going to probably and it is hysteria right now running out to the bars which is not a good thing and i say get the game back and let them play their poker and it is a spice of life and a lot of fun. there are good social things that people, and there is camaraderie and intelligence, and there's skill factor in poker and i say, what is wrong with gambling, and i don't think it is that bad. and the world poker -- >> sorry. >> well, the world poker tour, we do a show with the big tournaments around the world, and that is continuing, and actually a lot of the shows that were produced, tv shows produced by those sites, i don't know what will happen to them, but it
will be beneficial to the world poker tour. >> and jeffrey, you mentioned that the shows moved offshore and why did they move offshore in the first place? >> well, the federal government in the last decade made an effort to stop online poker, and that's, and so it is illegal to run a business in the united states that is online poker, but given the demand and given the creativity of entrepreneurs what they did was, they moved the actual operation of the web sites out of the united states, outside of the reach of american law enforcement, but what they couldn't do is to create a mechanism to get the money from players in the united states to the poker operations overseas and that is really what this big prosecution is about. it is about the money moving operation from the united states to the poker operations, which i think that has shut them down permanently, but as we know and we have discussed here, there is such demand for poker, and there
is so many people who want to play it and play it online, that it is probably only a matter of time until other web sites surface and other financial feeders surface and we will have this discussion all over again whether it is better for the government to control it and tax it or try to stop it. and i'm glad it is not my decision, because i think it is a hard call. >> well, if it pops up again, we will be sure to call you all and we have your numbers and have you back to discus all of this. vince and barrett and jeffrey, great discussion. thank you. once kate middleton marries her prince, she has to stop e eating shrimp and that is not all. bizarre rules of royal ti next. [ dennis ] introducing good hands roadside from allstate.
time now for my xyz and today we are heading to london. the royal wedding is less than two weeks away. here is what caught my eye. once kate middleton marries her prince, there are so many things that she won't be able to do anymore and some of them are bizarre. kate is no longer called kate, but catherine. kate is not royal enough. don't expect her to vote, because the queen considers voting unconstitutional and not in accordance with neutrality it turns out. here is a weird one. she won't be able to eat shell fish, because apparently british royals are not served shell fish for fear of food poisoning. and she will not be able to work, because royals and careers don't mix well, and what wil